Lakers’ D’Angelo Russell Raises Eyebrows With Since-Deleted Post

D'Angelo Russell, Los Angeles Lakers

Getty D'Angelo Russell of the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Los Angeles Lakers threw a plot twist at NBA circles, with their reported aim for their next head coach shifting from analyst JJ Redick – who was even said to have ideas on his potential staff – to UConn’s Dan Hurley.

Hurley lacks NBA coaching experience just like Redick. But he is a two-time National champion.

Nothing has come to fruition. But fans are on high alert with a situation that is still fluid, so much so that a potentially unrelated post from starting point guard D’Angelo Russell raised eyebrows.

Russell did not even use words, simply posting an emoji of eyes. That was enough to draw in the speculative crowd, some of whom attributed the post to a hidden message ranging from the Lakers’ coaching search to Russell’s potential free agency.

“And D’lo with this tweet making me anxious haha,” one fan said in a translated post on X on June 6.

He would soon delete the tweet.

That only fueled speculation about the true meaning of the post. Russell can opt out of the second year of his two-year, $36 million contract this offseason and become an unrestricted free agent.

“Lmao D’Angelo Russell deleted the [eyes emoji] tweet,” another fan posted on X on June 6. “LeBron probably told him that he wasn’t going to stick around for the Dan Hurley potential hire.”

D’Angelo Russell Could Be Major Key to Lakers’ Offseason

Russell said that he planned to use his option as leverage this offseason. His $18.9 million salary in 2024-25 would be a good starting point in a trade. But any interested suitors could take their chances that he will opt out.

There is risk for all sides. The Lakers are at risk of losing one of their better trade assets when it comes to players.

For Russell, there is a chance that he cannot recoup what would lost by opting out.

Russell is in the midst of a polarizing second stint with the Lakers. He lost his starting spot, albeit briefly this past season. His three-point shooting also betrayed him for the second straight postseason, with Russell shooting 31% in 2022-23 and 31.8% this year.

Any team interested in trading for or signing Russell risks dealing with the same inconsistency that has marred his time with the Lakers.

Russell has until June 29 to decide what to do with his contract option.

Lakers Preparing ‘Massive, Long-Term Contract for Dan Hurley: Report

Russell’s post came amid reports that the Lakers are close to hiring Hurley as their next coach. Deleting the post is as cryptic as the post was. But a coaching decision could come soon.

“I think the timeline moves relatively quickly,” ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said on “NBA Countdown” on June 6. “Now, whether that’s the weekend, whether that’s early next week, I don’t think that this is going to linger with Dan Hurley having this hang over his UConn program and having the uncertainty about what’s next for them.

“The Lakers, who at some point really have to get on with their search, they have been focused on Dan Hurley since the beginning. And very quietly trying to lay the groundwork to get him interested, and open-minded, and ultimately committed to coming to LA. I’m told he’s going to be presented with a massive long-term contract. That Rob Pelinka, Jeannie Buss, what they’re talking about is putting a program in place in LA.”

Wojnarowski said that the Lakers view Hurley as a “legacy coach.”

They believe he can be put in place for years to come and have great success. Hurley would also have “a lot of voice” in their next direction.